I can’t help but ponder whether or not caller id has weakened us as humans. I was thinking about the fact that my parents had to give up caller id. I thought to myself, I won’t be answering the phone at their house anymore! It’s all right for them, they grew up without it, but… actually so did I.
There was a time that when the phone rang, it could have been anyone. It was exciting to be the one to answer the phone. Now we know exactly who it is. And half the time, we don’t answer the phone. When my mom first had to give it up, I could hear it in her voice when I called. It wasn’t excitement, anticipation or even just plain old curiosity. It was dread. It was fear that there would be a telemarketer on the other end of the line.
After all, wasn’t that the main reason to get caller id? To avoid having to talk to telemarketers? But the fact of the matter is, that having to deal with those obnoxious calls is what used to build up our self reserve. We were confronted with something we didn’t like and we either had to grow a backbone and tell the caller we weren’t interested in their product – firmly and repeatedly tell them we weren’t interested. Or we crumbled and gave in. It is for that reason I fear the unknown caller. I have no backbone. I have been deprived of the experiences needed to grow one. I am open season to vetern sales people. A little nudging and I give in. As do most of us.
“We’re have a buy one get one ½ off right now. Don’t you want to go back and get another one?” You think to yourself, I only need the one, but they push a little, and you think, it really is a good deal, and you go back and get the second spending more money than you had originally intended. And the reality is, you didn’t get a good deal at all, but because they took the ½ off of the lowest priced item. You can’t even claim to have gotten 25% off of each item. And you spent more than you intended.
So I reiterate, that it was the advant of Caller ID that weakened us as a society, making us prey to the ever increasing commercialism, feeding the ever growing debt problem in our county.
Now when I call my mom, she picks up the phone without hesitation. And she deals with whomever is on the other end. Maybe I will be so brave as to try it myself the next time I’m down there. In the meantime though, I’m going to look for other ways to combat my weaknesses.